Parramatta’s Australia Day is one of the largest Australia Day celebrations. It offers a chance for families of all cultures to come together to celebrate what it is to be Australian. And showcases all there is to love about Australia through food, live music and a range of fun activities for people of all ages.
Kicking off at 6am with the ever-popular hot air balloon display, Parramatta’s Australia Day celebrations continue all day with kid’s activities, Parravision grand final, classic car display, a great line up of Aussie performers, the Big BBQ competition and the largest Australia Day citizenship ceremony. Then finishes with a spectacular fireworks display at 9pm.
Our Family Guide has everything you need to know to make your Australia Day at Parramatta Park a wonderful day.
Key Details – Parramatta’s Australia Day Event
- There is non-stop free entertainment from 6am to 9pm.
- The Playground is the spot to be for kids from 10am to 6pm and is right near the Macquarie Street entrance.
- The event celebrates the diversity of our community with a range of cultural and Indigenous performances and workshops.
- Aussie rock legends The Chantoozies, Dale Ryder, Eurogliders, Swanee, Matt Finish, Real Life, Ross Wilson, Sean Kelly, Sharon O’Neil, Steve Kilbey and Grant Walmsley will headline the evening concert at the Crescent Amphitheatre from 6pm.
- There’s lots of room to spread out at the event in Parramatta Park. Bring a picnic rug and picnic or grab a bite to eat from the many food stalls.
- Additional seating and shade will be available throughout the event due to the hot day forecast.
- You can bring eskies, low lying beach chairs and pop up beach style tents. But no glass.
- There’s the Domain Creek playground, near the Queen Road entrance, for kids to enjoy. But the Pavilion Flat playground (near George St Gatehouse) is closed for an exciting upgrade.
- Old Government House will be open by gold coin donation from 10am to 4pm. There will also be a sausage sizzle and a cold drink, kindly provided by the Friends of Old Government House.
- Take public transport or ride your bike there, with free valet bike parking from 10am to 9.30pm. You can also drive and park your car at one of the many nearby carparks and then walk to the park. Remember, Parramatta Park will be vehicle-free all day.
- Dogs are welcome at the event but must be on a lead and under the control of an adult at all times.
- Parramatta Park is a no smoking zone.
- All entertainment, activities and workshops are free. You just need to pay for amusement rides (starting at $7 but cheaper with family/ multi ride passes) and food.
- Fill up your water bottle at the free Sydney Water tap stations.
Our Top Picks
There really is something for everyone at Parramatta’s Australia Day event! And you can pick and choose when you come depending on what your family is interested in.
Our top picks for things to do at Parramatta’s Australia Day event are:
- The Playground: This is THE PLACE to be with kids on Australia Day! From 10am to 6pm, kids can get creative, explore and learn through a range of fun and interactive activities. Plus, there’ll be live on-stage entertainment, including the final for ParraVision!
- Aerial: For the early risers, watch Sydney’s largest hot air balloon display from 6am to 9am.
- The Crescent Stage: Enjoy listening to Australia’s most successful and internationally renowned Aboriginal band Yothu Yindi at 10:30am. And then sing and bop along to 11 other legendary Aussie rock acts from 6pm to 9pm.
- Amusement Rides: On the Pavilion Flat, near the George St Gatehouse, kids can get some thrills and let out some squeals from 8am to 8pm.
- CARnival: Kids should love checking out the old and new fire trucks and racing cars on display.
Full Day of Free Activities at Parramatta’s Australia Day Event – 6am to 9pm
Enjoy a 15-hour marathon celebration this Australia Day, across six areas with a great mix of entertainment, kids activities, live music and yummy food.
As the sun rises, start your day marvelling up in the sky at Sydney’s biggest hot air balloon display (6am to 9am). Plus enjoy a range of tasty treats and catch the colourful roving performers as they wander around.
Note: Hot air balloons may be cancelled in the event of high winds or inclement weather.
Just like a mini kid carnival, the Playground is an inclusive space for children to get creative, explore and learn through a range of fun and interactive free activities and entertainment. Activities DO NOT require booking – just turn up (line up) and play!
The Playground is set under trees and domes, so bring a picnic rug, settle in and relax. Plus you can grab a coffee at the mobile cafe!
- Circus Playground (10am – 4pm): An interactive circus workshop where families can learn the skills of juggling, swirling, hula-hoop, walking on beams, and stilt-walking!
- Face Painting (10am – 2pm): Face painting will be available at the Playground, so make sure you get your animal face painting done in time to join the Parade of Creatures! There were LONG queues last year so be prepared to wait or line up early.
- Workshops (10am to 6pm): From arts and crafts to dance workshops, magic skills and more, there are plenty of workshops to keep the kids (and you) entertained throughout the day. See list below.
- 10am – 12pm: Jaloola Storytime Craft Station
Make Australian animal masks or decorate wooden Aussie animals. And kids with animal masks can participate in the animal parade.
- 10am – 11am Jump in Kids Dance Workshops
Get up and get moving, as the team from Jump in Kids take you through a range of dance styles and fun exercises.
- 11am -12pm: African Drumming Workshops
- 12pm – 1pm: Jaloola Entertainment Craft Station
Create masks and amazing creatures
- 12pm – 12:30pm: Magic Workshop with Jonas Joost
- 12:30pm – 1pm Dance with your Belly Workshops
Learn the dances of the Arabian Nights.
- 1pm – 4pm: Recycled Art Workshop
Kids can make their own piece of art with technical and creative assistance from The Bower.
- 1pm – 2pm: Jump in Kids Dance Workshop
Get up and get moving, as the team from Jump in Kids take you through a range of dance styles and fun exercises.
- 2pm – 3pm: Dance with your Belly Workshops
What can be more fun than dancing with your BELLY.
- 4pm – 5pm: Boomerang Art Workshop
Join Noel Butler to experience Aboriginal art and paint your own boomerang.
- 5pm – 6pm: Indigenous Storytime and Dance Workshop
Join Noel as she shares stories relative to his Country. Plus plays the didgeridoo and teach kids a dance.
KIDS LIVE ENTERTAINMENT STAGE
- 10am – Morning Yoga
- 10.30am – Sugar Plum Fairy
- 11am & 12pm – Jump in Kids
- 11.30am & 12.30pm – Dreamtime Stories and Dance
- 1pm & 2pm – Jonas Joost – Magician
- 1.30pm & 2.30pm – African Drumming
- 3pm – Amara Dances
- 3.30pm – African VIBES
- 5pm – Dance Party
FAMILY LIVE ENTERTAINMENT STAGE
- 10.15am: D Minor
See international recording artist and rapper D Minor perform.
- 11am – 1pm: Parravision
See the best singers, dancers, performers and groups in Western Sydney battle it out in Western Sydney’s premier talent competition, Parravision.
- 1pm – 6pm: Western Sydney Artists
Enjoy the soulful R&B sounds of Western Sydney local and The Voice AU 2018 singing sensation Ricky Nifo from 1pm. Catch R&B and soul vocalist Kymie on the stage from 2pm. You won’t want to miss singer, songwriter, rapper and beatboxer Bernie Van Tiel as she takes to the stage with unique covers and originals at 3pm. And at 5pm, spoken word poet, singer and songwriter Nardean will be bringing down the Family Stage with her tremendous talent and pursuit of honesty, integrity and authentic feminine force.
Welcome and Citizenship Ceremony | 8am to 10:30am
Be welcomed to Parramatta’s Australia Day event at 8am by more than 500 Aboriginal singers and dancers performing around a corroborree sand circle, during a rare gathering. Then at 9:30am, witness more than 1500 people become Australian citizens at the largest citizenship ceremony hosted by distinguished journalist, public speaker and actor, Kumud Merani. And enjoy a National Anthem performance by Ricky Nifo & Circular Quays.
Yothu Yindi & The Treaty Project | 10:30am
Enjoy Australia’s most successful and internationally renowned Aboriginal band as they showcase their fusion of traditional music and performance with contemporary rock. The performance is inspired by the new remix package celebrating the 25th anniversary of Youthu Yindi’s ‘Treaty’. And will feature original Yothu Yindi members, emerging First Nations artists and special guests performing impressive new remixes of classic Yothu Yindi hits.
Classic Hits Live – 11 acts. 50 massive hits | 6pm to 9pm
As the sun starts to set, join thousands of people in a massive classic hits party with some of the best in Aussie rock. See 11 legendary Aussie rocks acts perform on stage, before concluding with one massive grand final medley.
- The Chantoozies – Australia’s favourite pop girl band.
- Dale Ryder (Boom Crash Opera) – one of the hottest live acts in the country with hit singles Great Wall, Hands Up in the Air, Onion Skin, The Best Thing and Dancing In the Storm.
- Eurogliders – they took the charts by storm in the 1980s with hit single ‘Heaven (Must Be There).
- Swanee – a classic Australian rock artist known for If I Were a Carpenter, Lady What’s Your Name and Gloria.
- Matt Finish – Classic Australian rock band, known for hit ‘Short Note’
- Real Life – known for internationally renowned hits ‘Send me and Angel’, ‘Catch Me I’m Falling’ and ‘Always’.
- Ross Wilson – 2 time ARIA Hall of Fame Inductee and founder of Daddy Cool & Mondo Rock.
- Sean Kelly (Models) – lead singer of Models, known for massive hits including the Number 1 hit Out Of Mind Out Of Sight, Barbados, and Big On Love.
- Sharon O’Neil – New Zealand singer-songwriter with hit ‘Maxine’.
- Steve Kilbey (The Church) – singer, songwriter and bass guitarist of ‘The Church’, Steve Kilbey is a songwriter with many musical tongues and 750 original songs including ‘Under The Milky Way’.
- Grant Walmsley (The Screaming Jets) – founder and songwriter/guitarist of the legendary ‘The Screaming Jets’ with hits ‘Better’ and ‘Shiver’.
4Amusement Rides – 8am to 8pm
The Pavilion Flat, near the George St Gatehouse, will be full of amusement rides for kids to enjoy from 8am to 8pm. Ride tickets start at $7 and there are multi-ticket discounts. Keep in mind that the queues get longer as the day goes on.
A showcase of the ultimate collection of classic vehicles including cars, fire engines, trucks, coaches, motorbikes and vintage speedway cars. The race cars and fire trucks that are sure to be a hit with the kids…they always are with ours.
CARnival is located near the Macquarie Street entrance.
Smoked, grilled and basted delights from Australian and international barbecue pitmasters. Watch some of Australia’s best barbecue teams battle it out for the 2019 BIG BBQ Battle. Talk to the teams, browse brand new smokers and BBQs, sample their delicious treats and discover the world of competition barbecue.
In 2019, the theme is lamb – teams will dish out the ultimate lamb cutlets, ribs, shanks and shoulders for the Big Lamb Competition.
End the night with a bang as we ring out Australia Day with a massive fireworks spectacular! Enjoy a ten-minute fireworks and pyrotechnic display set to NOVA’s music soundtrack.
Australia Day in Parramatta Park is a vehicle-free event. Make sure you plan your trip and arrive early – around 80,000 people are expected to attend during the day.
- The closest train stations are Parramatta and Westmead, both about a 10min walk to Parramatta Park.
- The free Parramatta Shuttle Bus (900) will be extended on Australia Day, running from 6am to 8.30pm. And there will be a special event bus stop right outside Parramatta Park (O’Connell Street / George Street).
- Leave your bike at the free bike valet parking service thanks to Camwest Bicycle User Group Inc. Bike valet is located just inside the park, enter through the O’Connell Street (Tudor Gatehouse) entry. Open 10am to 9.30pm.
- There are more than 7,000 metered on and off-street parking spaces available across the Parramatta CBD. We usually drive to either the Hunt Street or Eat Street carparks and then walk into the Park.
The nearby carparks are:
- Hunter Street Car Park – closest carpark to the event but there will be delays in leaving. (exit only between 8pm – 10pm)
- Eat Street Car Park – entry via Erby Place. This car park is about a 400m walk down George Street to the event.
- City Centre Car Park – entry via George Street. This car park is about a 400m walk down George Street to the event.
- Parramatta Station Car Park – entry via Wentworth Street.
- Riverbank Car Park – entry via Phillip Street, Dirrabarri lane.